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Lonely Nights

I have experienced a lot of lonely nights in my life. Every lonely night hurts but to a different extent. It is not new to me anymore. I have always thought that I am wired for it.

It was Good Friday. The day Jesus Christ died for our salvation. I went to church for the stations and veneration of the cross. The experience was overwhelming. It is good to be reminded of Christ’s passion just to save us and to show His love for us.

I was seated with a woman who had her hair covered with a scarf, with pale skin, and dark circles around her eyes. It seemed to me that she is a cancer patient. The veneration of the cross was a series of standing up and kneeling down. In the middle of it, she got tired and her deep sighs told me she was in pain. I heard the lady beside her told her to just sit down or just stand up so she will not get tired of moving. That’s what she did. After the communion, as we were silently praying. I can hear her cry silently. She might probably be praying for healing. My heart grew heavy. I can feel her pain and helplessness. “Lord, I am offering prayers for the woman beside me. Please grant her healing, Oh Lord.” I mentioned in my prayer. Oh, the joy of praying for others.

We all have a different cross to carry this season of Lent. It’s just up to us whether we look at it as a burden or to carry them joyfully.

I had another lonely night last night. I was scrubbing the bathroom floor while crying. There was a deafening silence in the room. This might sound too dramatic but I felt like I was abandoned by everyone. I can feel the physical pain in my heart. It was too painful; I had to rub it gently so it would calm down. I tried to divert that pain into tiredness. After doing all the cleaning, I went to the bathroom to freshen up. I stared at myself in the mirror. I looked like a mess. I cried for a few minutes. Washed my face and went back to my room to rest. I was home alone. It was too lonely, I was deafened by the complete silence. It was too quiet I can hear my thoughts.

I consoled myself. I fried an egg for dinner. I usually fall on self pity in times like that but that night I couldn’t be more thankful that I have that sunny side up on my plate. “I feel lonely.” I told my egg. The egg made no response. I just decided to eat it. I may be lonely but atleast I am not hungry.

I switched the lights off my room. I originally planned to reflect for the night but my thoughts are too loud. So I just held on my wooden cross instead. Like I always do whenever I feel down. Hugged it so tight until I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night with a heavy heart. The kind wherein you can’t pinpoint which part is hurting. All you know is that a part of it is broken. Shedded a few tears. I wish I can say that it’s just because of the bed bugs’ bite but it wasn’t. It was something else. Something deeper.

I stared into darkness. Evaluated my life. I started to miss home. I just want a hug from my mother. But, no one’s left to hug. I hugged my pillow instead and tried to fall back to sleep. Unsuccessful. But, I am thankful. It gave me the chance to finally reflect. The silence is not deafening anymore; it’s actually comforting. The night is too quiet. I feel like the only person awake and I feel like I have God all to myself. I cried out to God. And though Jesus Christ is dead during that time, I was still able to feel His love. Because hey, He died for my sins.

They say the most beautiful of loves requires the heaviest of sacrifices.

Some has to carry a cross of sickness, just like the woman I sat beside with in church, some has financial difficulties, some has broken relationships, some has problems at work, some has inner struggles they never talk about. The lonely nights are the cross that I have to carry during this season of lent. I have had a lot of it. I was tempted to put my cross down but God’s love sustained me.

We all have to go through our own passion. We all have to die to ourselves just to let others live. We all have to stay in the wilderness (for me, the lonely nights is my own kind of wilderness) so we can experience the joy that comes in the morning. God’s love will pull us through.

I can’t wait for my own Easter.

Thank you, Lord, for the loneliest of nights. It is such a privilege to be hugged by You. I love you. <3

This is How Letting Go Feels Like

“So, I uttered the serenity prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference…”over and over again until what seemed to be too difficult becomes, not easy, but less difficult.

Sometimes we are put in a confusing situation of choosing between letting go and trying harder. That is one of the hardest decisions we will ever have to face in this lifetime especially if both will cause your heart to break into pieces.

My life has been a series of letting go. Letting go of my pacifier when I was a kid. Letting go of my mother’s hand on my first day of school. Letting go of my comfort zone when I studied away from home for college. Letting go of my youth when I decided to work abroad right after graduation. Letting go of my pride for my first job. Letting go of my hope when my first business attempt failed. Letting go of my dreams when I realized that I don’t have one anymore. Letting go of everything that is beyond my control simply because it hurts. My hand is like a broken vessel where everything just slips away uncontrollably but not surprisingly because I know losing is a part of life and I am wired for it.

I am wired for it but I am tired of it.

Why can’t I just keep them?

I wish I could say that losing things, people, and other stuff taught me a reflective life meaning. But losing those just broke my heart over and over and over and over again. Losing those just made me ask if I am really meant to be happy. Losing those made me wonder how happiness feels like. Because I don’t know how it feels like anymore. But certainly, I know how letting go does.

Letting go feels like a long sleep where you are relieved but still feels tired.

Letting go feels like keeping tears from falling and finally releasing them. You feel lighter but the pain is still there deep down in your heart.

Letting go feels like flying back abroad after a short vacation in your home country. There is a physical pain in your heart, sometimes intolerable, but once you are done with it you will feel liberated and brave just by being able to do it. At the same time, it also excites you of what will happen next.

Letting go feels like having a butterfly riot in your stomach. The butterflies that used to give you a happy feeling now started to fight against each other.

Letting go feels the same or worse than dysmenorrhea. The pain is sometimes unbearable. You just curl up under your sheets and forget about the world outside the four corners of your room.

Letting go feels like a blessing and a curse.

No matter how I find words to describe how letting go feels like, nothing seems to be accurate.

Letting go is relieving but there is one thing I am certain of, letting go hurts.

Letting go is painful. Letting go is hard. But, letting go is inevitable. Letting go won’t kill you (even if it sometimes make you feel like dying) and we all know that what can’t kill you will only make you stronger. Stay alive for the ride.

Letting go made me realize how brave I am.

Letting go made me feel alive.

Letting go made me more prayerful.

Letting go allowed me to put my complete trust in the Lord.

By letting go, I have learned the meaning of full surrender.

As much as I want to keep a grasp of the things that I want to keep in my life, I just opened my hands and let them slip through them. And now, my open hands are ready to receive greater blessings from God who made me let go. The God who provided me grace and courage to let go of things that I badly want to keep. The God who gives and takes away.

I have read somewhere that God won’t give us things that somebody else is supposed to have. God takes away for a reason. It might be painful and hard to understand sometimes but God knows what He is doing. Let go, get out of the way, and let God do what needs to be done. Trust. Have faith. Surrender.

It is only in losing that we gain. We gain better understanding of ourselves. We gain a clearer view of how we want our lives to turn out. We gain more realizations of what deserves a spot in our lives. We gain more self-worth and self-love. We gain more strength and faith.

We only lose what we cling to. If letting go of things, people, and other stuff is the only way to keep them in my life, I am willing to go through the pain. The pain and the fear of uncertainty. The pain of longing for what was once constant in my life. The pain of seeing my high hopes stumble down and die. The pain of seeing my broken walls that seem to be irreparable. The pain of seeing myself that I can’t recognize anymore. The pain of seeing my future that used to be so clear becomes hazy. The pain of not recognizing happiness anymore. The pain of realizing that what was once a reality is now a memory. The pain of losing myself. The pain of missing things and people. The pain of feeling like I could never be the same again. The pain of dealing with anxieties. The pain of the aftershock of letting go. I realized that I don’t really fear letting go, it is the “what could have beens” that I fear. The act of letting go is painful enough, nobody wants to deal with what comes after that.

But then, there is God. A God who never lets go. A God who makes letting go bearable. A God who listens, answers, and saves. A God who empties us so we can be filled again. Let us trust the process.2017-05-09

Lord, I am Tired

Lord, I am tired and confused.

I need You.

Lord, my soul is weary.

I need You.

Lord, I feel burdened.

I need You.

Lord, I’m at the tip of exhaustion.

I need You.

Lord, there is too much going on in my life right now.

I need You.

I need You at all times.

Sometimes, I want to ask “why does it have to be so hard?”

“How long will it be like this?”

But before I even give up, You assured me.

Things may be hard…

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Today, I admit my complete dependence on You and You alone for strength.

The strength to carry on.

The strength to pull off a smile.

Today, I declare that I can’t do this on my own.

Fight this battle for me.

At the same time, I pray for courage.

The courage to do the things I have been putting off for so long.

Also, I pray for wisdom.

The wisdom to affirm whether I’m doing things right.

Lord, I pray that my decisions are aligned to Your will.

I thank You for the love that sustained me on my worse years.

I am counting on You now.

I know You got my back.

I may be weak; but, You are strong.

This is me, humbling myself and coming to You for refuge.

Let me sleep on Your lap tonight.

Because no matter how many trials I may have survived,

The warrior is still a child.

May tomorrow be a brighter day.

You are all I need.

All is well.

Just like what You have promised.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

Trusting You,

Birthday Love Tank

I guess as we grow older, birthdays become ordinary. You don’t get that special feeling as the day approaches because you know that birthdays are not different than any other day. Unlike when we were kids, we don’t excitedly wake up and expect to get the present that we have been begging our parents for or to blow and have our favorite chocolate cake for breakfast. We don’t expect people to be extra nice to us because it is our birthday. We don’t look forward in wearing our birthday dress at school. We just don’t get too excited about it anymore. It lost all its magic. Period.

On the morning of my birthday, I woke up not realizing that it’s my birthday. I dragged myself out of bed and unwillingly walked towards the bathroom to take a bath. I still don’t remember that it was my birthday; until my housemate told me that there is something on our doorsteps and he thinks it is for me. To my surprise, friends dropped by our house and left some surprises on our doorsteps.

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That is when it sinks in: It’s my birthday! 🙂 What I thought would be an ordinary day became more and more special every minute. Greetings from friends all over the world flooded my social media accounts. I see my face every time I open Facebook. Everyone sending out their love for me in any possible way. I couldn’t help but feel loved. Because I am an adult now, I don’t get to have a birthday off so I just spent most of my day in the office replying to every birthday greeting that comes my way.

I went straight to the church the moment I got off from work. Our company driver offered me a ride. I solemnly celebrated the Holy Mass alone. I thanked God for all the love and blessings that I have received that day. My heart is at peace. There is no better way to celebrate my day than to have a date with the one who gave me life.

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After my birthday date with God, I accompanied a friend to hunt for the perfect shoes for her mission trip to Africa. We went to Souq (Market) and my friend kept on telling everyone we talk to that it is my birthday. I received tons of greeting from strangers. It was still a little bit hot that night. I grabbed the nearest carton and use it as a fan to ease the uncomfortable feeling that I have due to sweating. Before we left the store, one of the guys who works there handed me a cute little pink fan as a birthday present. For some reasons, i was extra appreciative on that day. I guess it’s a conscious effort to be happy. After finding the perfect pair of shoes, we went straight to the birthday dinner that my friends arranged for me. We already passed the stage of birthday surprises but friends still managed to surprise me in their smallest ways. We picked two of our friends from their house, when they got in the taxi they immediately handed me a bouquet of flowers and greeted me a happy birthday. When we got into the restaurant and handed the taxi driver the money for our taxi fare, he refused to get it. “You don’t need to pay because it’s your birthday. Happy Birthday. Have a nice life. God bless you!” he said. My heart melted. Faith to humanity restored! How can someone who earns a little give a portion of what he has to a stranger just because it is her birthday? My heart is smiling. I didn’t accept his gift but I made sure to let him know that I appreciate it a lot. “God bless you!”; I told him before we shut the taxi door close. I mean it. May God bless the selfless people.

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The birthday dinner was awesome as always. It wasn’t an extravagant celebration but sharing that moment with your family away from home made it extra special. We just talked about life, laughed at life over pinakbet, lechong kawali and sisig. I don’t know what did I do to deserve all the amazing people in my life. I must have done something right to deserve all the love. But, one thing is for sure, God loves me so He blessed me with everyone/everything I have in my life right now. I felt so loved; not just because it’s my birthday but because I truly am. I am God’s beloved. I am God’s masterpiece.

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Birthday 2015.

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of life. May everything I do bring glory to you. Thank You, family and friends, for the love. <3

Hoc Etiam Transibit

My life has always been a constant struggle. Problems come one after the other and sometimes, they come all together at once. ‘When it rains, it pours.’ they say. I guess, they are right.

I had one of the toughest weeks last week. I won’t go into specifics but I felt heavier than usual; like the whole world is on my shoulder and I cannot carry it anymore. But I had to go out there, fake a smile and talk to people to show the world that I am fine but deep inside I was trembling, shaking, slowly dying. I just wanted to let it all go because the longer I carry it, the heavier it gets and I was afraid that I can only take so much and that time, it was already too much for me to bear, so I just wanted to get lost in my own world because I might break down at any moment because I just feel so weak and I didn’t know what in this world can fix me. So, I took my time to be broken by hiding from people and wallowing on my bed all week long. I literally shut everything off to befriend my exhaustion. It wasn’t fun but it helped.

I think everyone goes through that phase once in a while; The need for space, for solitude and for some peace and quiet. I needed mine last week and when you need something, sometimes, the whole universe conspires to give it to you. I spent my whole week thinking of ways to fix myself and everything that is broken in my life. I thought about it really hard but I didn’t come up with any answers.I felt like I just wasted one whole week of shutting people out during the time that I need them the most. That moment of despair made me hate myself. I was so down that I didn’t even have the time to appreciate the sun rays beaming through my windows or the hope a new day brings. As days passed, though I spent my everyday in bed, I became more tired and restless. Our self is our own and worst enemy. I started to hate the person that I have become. I hated how I isolate myself from friends, I hated myself for thinking that I can deal with it alone and I don’t need any help. I hated myself for compromising my service, my faith. I hated myself for missing out on a lot of things just because I am busy hating myself. But, I don’t want to be a bad bacteria who is infecting the happiness of those around me. I didn’t wanna show up without my usual happy self because I don’t want them to ask. Because I don’t have any answers except for the excuse that I am just exhausted. It’s funny how people say they’re just tired instead of admitting that they are not okay. I didn’t know that time how long I would do that to myself. All I knew then was, I need time; Time to figure out how to help myself; Time to regain the strength to go out there again and be with people. I came to a point of total Isolation and it was really hard to get out of that darkness. I knew that I need someone to pull me from where I am just so I can still see the beauty of life once again. The beauty of my brokenness. Because being broken gives us the opportunity to be hugged by God. There were times that I knew that I can only turn to God and no one else because only God has the answers to my questions. I cried to Him. I asked Him my why’s and how’s and even when’s.

“No one understands like Jesus.”

I finally had the willingness to do the usual things I do; to go out there, meet friends, laugh with friends. I attended a worship workshop and no matter how clouded my heart is by helplessness, God picked me up, hugged me and reassured me that no matter what I am going through, if I i will surrender it all to him, it will get better. I cried whatever tears I have left to cry. I broke down. I offered Him my weaknesses. He must have carried me because I felt instantly lighter. I am not totally okay but at least now I know what can fix me. The grace of the Lord will, in ways that is unknown to us. We just have to be obedient and believe that…

This Too Shall Pass

…and it did.